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George Vlahakis
University Communications

Meagan Niese
Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County

Whirlpool Media Line

Last modified: Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Construction kicks off Thursday on Habitat for Humanity build at Indiana University Bloomington

Build is Part of 2010 Whirlpool® Building Blocks annual community build

Sept. 22, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- While Indiana University's football team takes on two gridiron opponents -- one later this month and another in early October -- a different kind of team will be building a partnership outside of Memorial Stadium.

Volunteers from IU and its Kelley School of Business, Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County, Habitat for Humanity International and Whirlpool Corp. are working together to build a home with Trish Vosekas, a Bloomington resident since 1985.

A 10-day blitz build begins Thursday, Sept. 23, in the parking lot outside Memorial Stadium near the intersection of Indiana 45/46 and Dunn Street. It will be the first time that a Habitat build has taken place on the IU Bloomington campus.

The build dates encompass back-to-back home IU games with the University of Akron and the University of Michigan. Vosekas will receive the keys to her new home at the IU-Michigan football game next Saturday, Oct. 2, and her home will be relocated to its permanent location at 908 N. Woodburn Ave. the following day.

Finding decent, affordable housing was always a challenge for Vosekas, who usually moved annually. She recently left a house that lacked a working furnace and proper running water.

"This couldn't have come at a better time, because now I don't have any fears about what I'm going to do with the rest of my life," Vosekas said. "Dealing with chronic housing issues does get old."

Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County creates affordable housing by building in partnership with families in need of adequate homes. The build is part of the 2010 Whirlpool® Building Blocks initiative, Whirlpool Corp.'s signature program with Habitat for Humanity International. Since 1999, Whirlpool Corp. has supported Habitat in its mission to eliminate substandard housing and is one of the organization's largest corporate sponsors.

Close to 300 students from the Kelley School's Civic Leadership Development chapter, the IU Habitat chapter, Wells Scholars Program and the Political and Civic Engagement program are participating. Students in Read Residence Center also have made Habitat their philanthropic project. They will be joined throughout the build by employees from Whirlpool Corp. and IU administrators.

Construction will begin with framing the floor system. Walls likely will go up on Saturday. Teams of volunteers will work on the house from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day through Oct. 2.

IU Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Karen Hanson, who will hand Vosekas the keys to her new home, said the project is a good example of the civic engagement that is an integral part of the campus.

"The participation of hundreds of students in this project shows that Indiana University has community spirit as well as school spirit," Hanson said. "Their hard work is accomplishing something tangible and important: building a home in partnership with Trish Vosekas. It will be an honor and a pleasure to represent the IU Bloomington community in this presentation."

Among the many IU student volunteers will be Claire Hoffman, a senior from Fort Wayne, Ind., and president of the Kelley School's 1,300-member Civic Leadership Development chapter. A football fan, she's been inside Memorial Stadium many times to watch the Hoosiers, but she's even more passionate about the teamwork taking place off the field.

"I grew up with two brothers and loving sports, so I've attended quite a few IU football games," said Hoffman. "But I also have a passion for volunteering, so being able to bring those interests together, roll up my sleeves, get my hands dirty and help someone in the community who needs an affordable home is really exciting.

"Once I graduate from Indiana University, this is going to be one of the experiences that will stick out for me," said Hoffman, a marketing major at Kelley. "This is providing me with a firm foundation to help me continue my community involvement in the future."

In addition to its activities at Memorial Stadium, the 200-member IU Habitat chapter supports several Monroe County Habitat projects in the community annually, sends students on spring break builds and raises money to sponsor future new homes.

"Involvement in IU Habitat gives students an opportunity to interact directly with the community," said Randy Arnold, the chapter's advisor, manager of IU's Proteomics Facility and associate scientist in the Department of Chemistry. "We want to use this build with Whirlpool as a springboard to something even bigger."

To qualify for a Habitat home, each family must have the ability to pay a non-profit mortgage and invest at least 250 hours of "sweat equity" or volunteer hours.

"The families work hard for their homes and we're thrilled to have both Whirlpool Corp. and Indiana University help us in our mission to make affordable housing a reality," said Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County executive director Kerry Thomson. "The support and partnership of these organizations will not only change Trish's life, but by raising awareness about the importance of quality housing, will make an impact on our entire community."

"Whirlpool Corp. is proud of its 11-year partnership with Habitat for Humanity," said Jeff Fettig, a graduate of IU's Kelley School of Business and chairman and chief executive officer, Whirlpool Corp. "We are thrilled to sponsor and participate in the IU campus build and are grateful to Indiana University and the Kelley School, participating student organizations, Monroe County Habitat for Humanity and Habitat for Humanity International for making it possible to make the dream of home ownership a reality for another Habitat family."

Since 2006, 38 Habitat homes have been built with partner families as part of the Whirlpool® Building Blocks program.

Vosekas said she realizes that the build location is unique and appreciates the hard effort that also will take place inside the stadium. "I'm a Steelers fan. I was born and raised in Pittsburgh," she said. "If they can get a little of that Steelers vibe from me, then Indiana University should have a winning season."

To donate to Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County to support other families in their dream of homeownership, text "IU" to 25383. A $10 donation will be charged to your mobile device. Standard messaging and data rates may apply. For more, visit or

About Monroe County Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County is a nonprofit housing ministry dedicated to building decent, affordable housing in partnership with those in need in Monroe County, Ind. Since 1988, this affiliate has built more than 100 homes in partnership with local families. For more information, visit

About Indiana University Bloomington

Indiana University Bloomington is known internationally for outstanding research, as well as for the quality of its undergraduate and graduate programs. With 42,000 students from more than 125 countries, the campus offers a dynamic academic and cultural experience in a traditional campus environment that includes Big Ten sports and the Little 500 bicycle race. The campus has been called one of the "most wired" campuses in the United States because of its commitment to emerging technologies. For more information, go to

About the Kelley School of Business

For 90 years -- first in Bloomington and later in Indianapolis, online and for top companies -- IU's Kelley School of Business has prepared students to lead organizations, start companies, develop new products and services, and shape business knowledge and policy. Its programs are consistently ranked among the best in the nation, its faculty members are internationally recognized for their teaching and thought leadership and businesses worldwide hire its highly qualified graduates. A Kelley education is always innovative and relevant so that students, faculty, and 92,000 alumni can become even better businesspeople, innovators, and leaders. For more information, go to

About Habitat for Humanity International

Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built, rehabilitated, repaired or improved more than 350,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1.75 million people. For more information, or to donate or volunteer, visit

About Whirlpool Corporation

In 11 years of partnership with Habitat for Humanity®, Whirlpool Corporation has donated more than 110,000 ranges and ENERGY STAR® qualified refrigerators to new Habitat homes built in North America, serving 55,000 families. The company has sponsored more than 100 homes around the world and served nearly 10,000 families in Europe alone. Additionally, Whirlpool has donated more than 10,000 products to Habitat ReStores and has engaged more than 6,000 employee volunteers. A proud sponsor of the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project since 2003, the value of the company's commitment to Habitat nears $63 million. With active partnerships in 22 countries, Whirlpool plans to support every new Habitat home built globally by 2011, through product donations, cash or volunteerism. For more information, go to

Whirlpool Corporation is the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of approximately $17 billion in 2009, 67,000 employees, and 67 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world. The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Consul, Bauknecht and other major brand names to consumers in nearly every country around the world. Additional information about the company can be found at